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[Home] [Profiles 103 Sqn N to Z] [B E Wright and crew 103 Sqn]

F/O B E Wright RCAF and crew – 103 Squadron – RAF Elsham Wolds – 1945

Abandoned on Return – 14th March 1945 – Avro Lancaster I – LM131 – Op Dortmund

F/O Wright and crew were on their 4th operation which was a daylight attack on the German city of Dortmund. During the attack a bomb from an aircraft flying above hit LM131 and became lodged in the wing.

V/103 , P/O B F Wright was found to have been hit by a 250 lb bomb which was still embedded in the wing. This is thought to have been an armed delayed action bomb. He was ordered to bale out his crew and head the aircraft out to sea. All landed safely except the Flight Engineer Sgt Carter who was killed through his parachute failing to open correctly. An eye witness recalls that the parachute Roman candled to the horror of all who witnessed the tragedy.

It is reported the aircraft crashed near Elsham village so I presume it must have spun or dived into the ground immediately after it had been abandoned. I have no details of the exact location so if anyone can add to that I shall be most grateful.

The crew for this operation consisted of :-

P/O B F Wright RCAF

Sgt Francis Edward Carter RAFVR – Flight Engineer – 19 – 103 Sqn - Son of Walter and Ellen E. Carter of Denton – Denton St Margaret New Churchyard, Northamptonshire

F/S G R Tracy RCAF

W/O J Coulson RAFVR

Sgt B Heath RAFVR

F/S K Coleman RAFVR

F/S A J Bocinfuso RCAF

All were safe with the exception of Sgt Francis Edward Carter the Flight Engineer who came from Denton, Northamptonshire and now rests in Denton ( St Margaret ) New Churchyard.

Wright's crew were soon back on ops with a replacement Flight Engineer and finished the war without further problems.


103 Squadron detailed 11 aircraft for this attack on Dortmund. All aircraft too off safely in good weather. On arrival in the target area it was found to be 10/10ths cloud covered. Pathfinders marked with sky markers which were well placed and concentrated. All crews bombed on the Master Bombers instructions and it is believed the results were very good although cloud prevented visual observation. A large column of smoke was seen issuing from the cloud when our aircraft turned for home. Bombing was from between 16000 ft and 19000 ft. Defences consisted of a moderate heavy flak barrage but no fighters were seen. All aircraft returned to base. However V/103 F/O Wright and crew was found to have been hit by a 250 lb bomb from another aircraft and this was still embedded in the wing. He was ordered to bale out and head the aircraft out to sea. All landed safely except Sgt Carter who was killed due to his parachute failing to open correctly.

For this attack on Dortmund Bomber Command detailed a total of 1,108 aircraft - 748 Lancasters, 292 Halifaxes, 68 Mosquitos attacked Dortmund. This was another new record to a single target, a record which would stand to the end of the war. 2 Lancasters lost. Another record tonnage of bombs - 4,851 - was dropped through cloud on to this unfortunate city. The only details available from Dortmund state that the attack fell mainly in the centre and south of the city. A British team which investigated the effects of bombing in Dortmund after the war says that, 'The final raid stopped production so effectively that it would have been many months before any substantial recovery could have occurred'.


103 Squadron Miss Venus

LM131 – Miss Venus was a veteran Lancaster which was lost on its 95th operation.

Item written by David Fell with thanks to Phil Laviolette for his input. Photo from the Furlong family


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